Gifts: Climbing (reaching lofty goals). Being at home in the dark. Doing deep inner work. Intuition and instinct.
Challenges: So introspective that it’s difficult to interact with others. So blunt as to hurt others. Pacing and downtime.
Jaguar is a profound symbol of stalking power. This is not stalking other people to gain power over them. Quite the contrary. It is stalking your own shadow, your own personal truth, your own process of transition in order to reclaim your personal power.
Physical jaguar is the only Panthera species (Tiger, Lion, Leopard, and Jaguar) that lives in the New World, ranging from Mexico through much of South America. Like Leopard, it is an opportunistic hunter (stalking, killing, and eating any prey of any size) that uses stealth to hunt and kill its prey.
Unlike Leopard, Jaguar does not have to compete with other apex predators. Jaguar is the apex predator where it lives. The message for you, if Jaguar is your spirit animal, is to recognize your place at the top and stop worrying about competition. Contrast this with Leopard’s lesson of wise competition. Jaguar is a solitary creature that is mostly crepuscular (active during the transitional periods of dusk and dawn). Jaguar teaches you to trust yourself and have confidence in your own power to move gracefully through transitions. Jaguar is a symbol of shapeshifting while also being true to oneself. Jaguar prefers to live in the rainforest and is an excellent swimmer. Jaguar moves easily between earth, water, and tree limbs. With Jaguar, you can harness this gift of shapeshifting, remembering to harness Jaguar’s gift of integrity, as well, so that you remain always true to your Self, no matter how much shapeshifting you do.
Physical jaguar has the strongest bite of all big cats and the second strongest of all mammals (first is hyena). Jaguar can bite through the shells of armored prey and directly through skulls into the brain.
How can you use this gift? If you avoid the shadow side of biting through people’s defenses to gain power over them, to destroy them, then this is a magical gift to possess. It is a gift to be earned, practiced and mastered. As with Dragon, Jaguar does not readily bestow its gifts on you. You must earn them. Mastering this gift, you can indeed crack through people’s defenses—to help them find their own personal truth and their own personal power.
Jaguar knows that power always comes from within, and every being can stand in their own power without lessening that of any other being. True power never takes power away; it literally encourages others (coaxes out the courage within them) to tap into their own personal power.
Jaguar quite naturally intimidates others, and you may be tempted to use that to your advantage. You can’t control how people respond to you. But you do control the vibes you send out—your intention to scare or to encourage.